In a Vase on Monday – Pink Valerian and Purple Toadflax

As part of the ‘In a Vase on Monday’ meme hosted by Cathy at Rambling in the Garden  – do go along and have a look at the other vases – my vase this week is made up of things I have had to cut back, and it ended up much prettier than expected.

The main green in the vase is Lemon Balm/Melissa, this grows in between my Roses, however it was becoming very unruly, so needed a little chop. Lemon Balm has beautiful delicate white flowers and it lasts really well when cut.

Poking through the Lemon Balm are some Night Scented Stocks that had been crowded out as part of a border, and as I grew them specifically to cut, here they are! The smell is incredible.

Adding to the overall frothiness of the vase are stems of Pink Valerian, that arrived in my garden from somewhere and now lives happily by the pond, until it starts flopping into the pond and then I do need to chop it back a little, and some Purple Toadflax also arrived via the fairies and now just happily puts itself places, which usually is fine but these particularly spikes were right at the low edge of a border and needed to go.

On the left is the very last of my foxgloves, that had drooped sadly across a path, so they also got the snip and I am enjoying the last few flowers, I have left plenty to self seed and although I do feel like I have cheated the bees a little, there were only 4-5 flowers left and they seem happy enough with everything else that is currently flowering.

I do like to include a little piece of plant folklore relating to my vases and this is something I came across recently, Folklorists are divided on where the common name for Digitalis purpurea comes from. In some areas of the British Isles the name seems be a corruption of “folksglove,” associating the flowers with the fairy folk, while in others the plant is also known as “fox fingers,” its blossoms used as gloves by the foxes to keep dew off their paws. Another theory suggests that the name comes from the Anglo-Saxon word foxes-gleow, a “gleow” being a ring of bells. This is connected to Norse legends in which foxes wear the bell-shaped foxglove blossoms around their necks; the ringing of bells was a spell of protection against hunters and hounds. My favorite by far is ‘Fox Fingers’ who wouldn’t love to see a fox using fox gloves to keep the dew from its paws.

fox gloves

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10 Comments

  1. Haha – love that last picture!! It was good to read the folklore, not all of which I was aware of, but also to read about reasons for cutting differnt things – this is why our Monday vases are so interesting because we are sharing little snippets of ourselves. Must try stocks again as your look wonderful and as you say must smell wonderful too.

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  2. Can imagine how wonderful the Night Scented Stocks smell–lovely vase. And the fox-foxglove image is charming.

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  3. […] Source: In a Vase on Monday – Pink Valerian and Purple Toadflax | The Evergreen Diary […]

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  4. Crooked Bear Creek Organic Herbs

    Absolutely stunning pictorial and the lore is wonderful. I hope you do not mind that I shared your wonderful post. Thank you for brightening this corner of our world.

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  5. That picture is great! In German they are called ‘finger hat’ (Fingerhut), which is more or less a glove I suppose! It’s a lovely vase and nobody would guess they are leftover ‘snippets’. They all go so well together. Nice tip about Lemon balm lasting in a vase – mine will probably make an appearance next week as it is getting a little ambitious!

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    1. It’s funny isn’t it! Yes, Lemon Balm is great cut, I look forward to seeing your Vase 🙂

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  6. Thanks for sharing information of the derivation of “foxglove”. I’d only heard the explanation related to fairies but I love the idea of foxes running about with gloves on to keep their paws dry.

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    1. Me too! If only it were true….!

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  7. A beautiful result from a garden sweep. The scent of stock must be intoxicating and I love that some of your flowers were gifts from fairies. 🙂

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